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Into the Wild (2007)

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After graduating from Emory University, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandons his possessions, gives his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Along the way, Christopher encounters a series of characters that shape his life.

Director:

Sean Penn

Writers:

Sean Penn (screenplay), Jon Krakauer (book)
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500 ( 63)
Top Rated Movies #196 | Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 24 wins & 101 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Emile Hirsch ... Chris McCandless
Marcia Gay Harden ... Billie McCandless
William Hurt ... Walt McCandless
Jena Malone ... Carine McCandless / Additional Narrator
Brian H. Dierker Brian H. Dierker ... Rainey (as Brian Dierker)
Catherine Keener ... Jan Burres
Vince Vaughn ... Wayne Westerberg
Kristen Stewart ... Tracy Tatro
Hal Holbrook ... Ron Franz
Jim Gallien Jim Gallien ... Jim Gallien
James O'Neill James O'Neill ... Graduation Reader (as James J. O'Neill)
Malinda McCollum Malinda McCollum ... Waitress
Paul Knauls Paul Knauls ... Building Manager
Zach Galifianakis ... Kevin
Craig Mutsch Craig Mutsch ... Wayne's Crew #1
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Storyline

Based on a true story. After graduating from Emory University, Christopher McCandless abandoned his possessions, gave his entire savings account to charity, and hitchhiked to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Along the way, Christopher encounters a series of characters who shape his life. Written by Lisa Kelley

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Your large adventure on Alaska See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Danish

Release Date:

19 October 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Into the Wild See more »

Filming Locations:

Anchorage, Alaska, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$212,440, 23 September 2007

Gross USA:

$18,354,356

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$56,255,142
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kristen Stewart co-wrote one of the songs her character Tracy Tatro sang in the film ("Tracy's Song"). See more »

Goofs

When Chris is driving the combine in the wheat field and shoveling grain out of the truck, his boss is talking about wheat and the price of the wheat, presumably the wheat they are unloading, Chris is, in fact, shoveling corn. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Christopher McCandless: Mom! Mom! Help me.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening title is shown as part of Chris's journal's writings. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Charlie Rose: Episode dated 21 September 2007 (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

I Thought I Was You
Written by Sean Hannan & Jerry Hannan
Performed by Kelly Peterson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Touching
10 July 2019 | by gbill-74877See all my reviews

Stunning scenery, brilliant directing from Sean Penn, soulful songs from Eddie Vedder, and a remarkable, true story. Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch) is a college graduate from an affluent upbringing who decides to abandon his possessions and money and to live life out on the road, ala Jack London or Jack Kerouac during parts of their lives. He's a fascinating character because of his idealism and his nonconformity; he's intelligent and kind, and yet he doesn't value human relationships, preferring solitude and a deep connection to nature. Hirsch plays the part very well, displaying an easy, personable warmth but at the same time a determination to go his own way, damn the consequences. He also really looks the part, including scenes where he had to lose quite a bit of weight. His character is troubled from an upbringing that was riddled with strife, and in one moments says so simply (and sadly) "Some people feel like they don't deserve love. They walk away quietly into empty spaces, trying to close the gaps of the past," and yet we get the feeling that is just one aspect of a complicated and yet simple guy.

I think some people are turned off by what they feel was a glorification, but I didn't feel that way at all. We see the trail of tears he leaves behind him, with his parents and sister devastated by not hearing from him, and him ignoring some of the kindly advice he receives along the way. He is also brutal to an old man (Hal Holbrook) who so very generously offers to adopt him, in what is a fantastic scene. Holbrook is also brilliant when he tells the young man "when you forgive, you love." We see him take risks which pay off (kayaking down a rampaging river), and of course others which do not (going into the true wild of Alaska without a map or enough preparation). For that he is sometimes vilified or mocked, but I admired him for not conforming like the rest of us, and for living life on his own terms. He certainly was not cheated. And in the end, he has his moment of realization, that "happiness (is) only real when shared", which is a moment that is incredibly poignant.

I loved the literary references in the film, starting with the title card quoting Byron, which seems so perfect: "There is a pleasure in the pathless woods; / There is a rapture on the lonely shore; / There is society, where none intrudes, / By the deep sea, and music in its roar; / I love not man the less, but Nature more..."

And at the end as I thought about McCandless's life, I thought that this passage from Thoreau was nowhere more suitable: "Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed, and in such desperate enterprises? If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away."


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